Scientists have long known that our relationship with booze goes back a ways, so to speak. This past year, they traced our genetic predisposition to digest alcohol back to at least 10 million years in our past.
To put that 10 million years in perspective, that’s about when we were known to separate (or speciate, as the technical term would have it) from the lineage of great apes.
This fact may also mean that wine bars may have exploded on the scene about 10 million years ago.
Of course, they looked a bit different back then than they do now.
Yes, that’s right. Chimps booze it up whenever they can on the tasty concoction known as palm wine.
Humans have been making palm wine (fermented palm tree sap) for centuries, but scientists have recently observed wild chimpanzees, clever little buggers that they are, getting drunk off of partially fermented palm sap that is waiting to be harvested by local villagers.
These boozehounds have figured out how to dip handfuls of crushed leaves into the cavities of palm trunks that have been notched by harvesters to collect and ferment the sap, and they’re sucking down the tasty wine like any good wino might.
Now if they could only write tasting notes…